This morning, as my wife, Nancy and I walked past the Angry Trout Cafe, we were being pelted with pretty emphatic droplets of the best rain that you could imagine walking in. I felt very appreciative for my sunglasses. We left the car in the driveway, not wanting to taint the local air, perfumed as it was with blossoms and burgeoning life. We walked too, through the gift shop at the North House Folk School droplets began to fall as we left, pelting us with the freshest rain we had experienced all year. My wool shirt stayed warm enough, even through what would have rendered lesser shirts useless. A touch of wet came through a bit onto my 100% cotton t-shirt.
In years past, I had pedaled my bicycle through the streets and parks of this town, today I walked slowly, in spite of the wet to re-live those fateful days twenty-five years ago. The old pizza place I remember is gone, but we will certainly try the new one. I keep remembering the ride and how early it was in Spring. It was still early April and I was nearly two weeks into my two and a half month ride. We walked and shopped for about five hours, walking through the parks and squares of the historic town. Sailors say that fair weather sailors miss most of the good sailing there is. It is the same with tourism. Nancy said that she felt bad for the folks in Quetico and Boundary Waters. but in my mind, even paddling in the mists beats stating indoors during bad weather. It has always presented a great challenge with equal reward when I have ventured on in spite of the weather.
Today was no different. We saw an Eye of Thoth in the clouds just minutes after we embarked, always an auspicious event. We got to experience the quality of light as if you were inside a neon tube, everything enlivened by the light. we saw clouds scuttering along the hill tops, shrouding the tops of the local hills and saw huge roiling vortecies being squeezed of their moisture. We stood in sun and rain simultaneously, and were nearly uniformly whipped by freshening breezes. Twice, we were briefly graced with warm and still moments in between bluster. We got to see one of the times that the Greatest Lake in the World is the exact same color as the sky, each one melding into the other in a disorienting way that defies description.
No doubt we are appreciative. Were we not on this walkabout, the drought back home is nearing the end of a second month. Perhaps this whole chance to get wet has been my karma for all the watering of things that I have done this year. Seeing the wetter parts of the world thriving, I'm all for the rain, just a little jealous of the areas that have had enough. The steamroller of a storm that followed us up the North Shore flooded tunnels, washed away bridges and created sink holes large enough to swallow cars. In this case we can truly say that when it rains it pours. Had this been in winter, the storm system could have dumped 100" of snow. Places near here got over ten inches of rain over twenty four hours. Fully 1/3 of a normal year of rain overnight! The least I could do is to walk about in the awesome power and beauty of it.